Wash and Go: how do you use a bidet?

I'm getting complaints from the bathroom department: the level of service I'm providing just isn't up to scratch. The reason? I've bought value loo roll. 'I might as well wipe my backside on sandpaper,' he says. I say I'll upgrade if he uses less on a visit.

The proposal, in fact, wouldn't just be beneficial to the Greenwood household coffers, but to the whole entire world. Planet Earth is losing 9 million trees a year to bottom wiping, that's 27,000 trees a day. Each roll we decadently spin through uses 37 gallons of water in manufacture, 1.5 pounds of wood, 1.3 KWh of electricity and a glug of unfriendly bleach, not to mention transportation and retail, and the resources required to unblock pipes in our aged sewer system.

But what's the alternative?

In Japan, 70% of households have water-spray features incorporated in their toilet seats; top of the range models come with warm air drying and retractable cleaning wands (gulp). In Venezuela, the number of households with bidets is as high as 90%.

But really? Bidets in the UK? The humble bottom fountain is something one encounters on holiday, moderately useful for washing sandy feet. I don't even know how to use one round the back. So I google a bit and I ask my friend, Janet, who's got one in her apartment in Turkey.

'It's surprisingly good,' she says. 'I'd consider one for home.'

And on Amazon reviews, Arlene says, 'It was my brother who told me about it and it's very refreshing. I will never go back.' As she gave the bidet five stars, I presume she means she'll never go back to tissue.

I won't provide the details - you can look those up yourself - but, basically, you 'go', you allow the jet to do its stuff (no hands needed), then you blow dry (hi tech version) or pat dry (if not). You still use paper, just not as much.

Environmentally this makes sense. A bidet uses water, but not as much as the toilet paper manufacturing process and then there are forest, electricity, bleach and sewage savings to consider.

If you're still not convinced, 44% of British men reported they're not good at wiping, and when Good Morning America tested public transport seats on a trip from Washington DC to San Francisco they found 50% contaminated with faecal matter. I'm done here.

When the other half returns home from his business trip tonight, I've got a little surprise installed for him. Bidet attachments cost as little as £9.99 on Amazon (with an excellent recommendation from Arlene and her brother). I just need to make sure he's not sitting down when I tell him.

Emma is a columnist and feature writer for Liberti Magazine.

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